Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump have been mostly at odds since Trump entered politics, running against Romney and several other contenders before nabbing the Republican nomination. Well, it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better after an op-ed Romney wrote for the Salt Lake Tribune was published on Sunday. The former presidential candidate is now running in Utah for the Senate seat that will be left vacant after Republican Orrin Hatch retires, and with this piece that he published, he’s made it clear that he will not be walking in lockstep with his former adversary if he doesn’t agree with the policy, reports CNN.
Romney wrote about how many Republicans these days believe that if you don’t support what the leader says, it will weaken his position, but he quickly makes clear that he doesn’t subscribe to this way of thinking. “I take a different course. I will support the president’s policies when I believe they are in the best interest of Utah and the nation,” he writes. And while he is quick to point out a lot of the policies this president has supported, like making the corporate tax code competitive globally and what he’s done to reduce the number of regulations on companies, he does have some issues.
“But I have openly expressed my disagreement with certain of the administration decisions such as the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); I want more markets open for Utah and American goods. I also oppose broad-based tariffs, such as those proposed on steel and aluminum, particularly when they are imposed on our allies. I agree, however, with narrower penalties levied on companies or nations that employ unfair trade practices, such as China.” Romney is obviously trying to send a message to those whose vote he’s looking to capture, with Utah’s primary election happening Tuesday. Going up against the president has been a dicey move recently. Take Rep. Mark Sanford, who lost in a GOP South Carolina primary when his opponent claimed he didn’t support the president, as noted by CNN.
If supporting Trump is all those in Utah are looking for, then Romney would have had a problem long before this piece hit the paper. After all, anyone who follows politics would know how contentious things have been between these two. “When it became clear that Trump had a real chance to be the GOP nominee in 2016, Romney delivered an absolutely blistering takedown of the GOP businessman,” reminds CNN. Also, for a while, it looked like Romney was going to become secretary of state but that fell through. June 26 is Utah’s chance to say whether they want a candidate who will fall in line or will put Utah first as all eyes fall to them to see which answer is revealed.